'We stand for democracy': Hundreds of companies sign statement against voter suppression


The CEOS of some of the country's biggest corporations publicly opposed Republicans' continuing campaign against voting rights.

In yet another sign corporate America is undeterred by GOP warnings that they should stop speaking out against voter suppression, hundreds of leaders of some of the biggest companies in the United States signed a statement featured in full-page ads in the New York Times and the Washington Post on Wednesday declaring, "We stand for democracy" and against voter suppression.

"As Americans, we know that in our democracy we should not expect to agree on everything. However, regardless of our political affiliations, we believe the very foundation of our electoral process rests upon the ability of each of us to cast our ballots for the candidate of our choice," the statement reads. "For American democracy to work for any of us, we must ensure the right to vote for all of us."

The ad is the latest statement made by major corporations in opposition to the spate of voter suppression bills GOP state legislators have introduced across the country. Many of those bills are aimed at making it harder to vote, either by making it more difficult to obtain absentee ballots, limiting the use of ballot drop boxes, or even making it a crime to hand out refreshments to people stuck in long lines at polling places waiting to vote.

Among the companies that signed on to the statement are Amazon, Netflix, Starbucks, Google, and General Motors.

They did so despite threats from Republican lawmakers both in state legislatures and on Capitol Hill against them if they spoke out about voting rights.

Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell warned companies to "stay out of politics" when it came to voting rights — though he clarified he still wanted those same companies to make campaign contributions.

On Tuesday, GOP Sens. Ted Cruz of Texas, Josh Hawley of Missouri, and Mike Lee of Utah took the threat a step further by introducing legislation intended to punish Major League Baseball for its protest against Georgia's voter suppression law. The three Republican senators are seeking to eliminate MLB's antitrust exemption in retaliation for MLB's decision to move the 2021 All-Star Game out of Georgia in response to its voter suppression law.

Republicans in Georgia's House sought to pull a tax break from Delta Air Lines to punish the company for its statement declaring that law "unacceptable."

It's unclear what the result of the statements and actions of the country's largest employers will be.

As of now, Republicans are not backing down from their voter suppression efforts, as restrictive bills continue to make their way through legislatures in states in which all branches of government are controlled by the GOP, such as Texas, Florida, and Arizona.

Even in states where Democrats control the governorship but Republicans have a majority in the state legislature, like Michigan, Republicans are pushing through voter suppression legislation. One bill Republicans introduced in the Michigan Senate is so restrictive that it even prohibits the secretary of state from providing voters with a link to absentee ballot applications online.

The GOP leaders of Michigan's Legislature said they are undeterred by a statement signed by some of the state's largest companies — including GM, Ford, and the state's four professional sports teams — expressing opposition to the bills.

Michigan Senate Majority Leader Mike Shirkey, who had previously called the deadly insurrection by supporters of Donald Trump at the U.S. Capitol on Jan. 6 a "hoax," said in a statement, "At all times we must use logic, not political sentiment or 'wokeness,' to build good public policy that will serve all Michiganders and safeguard our democracy."

Published with permission of The American Independent Foundation.